The phases of creation
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void… And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Gen 1:1-2).
The Spirit of God created the spirit of man on the sixth day (Gen 1: 26-27). The “image” and “likeness of God” is in a spiritual form that is why Jesus Christ said: “God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24). God created the spiritual man first “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him: male and female created Him them.” Genesis chapter 1 gives the order of spiritual creation: “And God said, Let there be …, and there was…/And God made…/and it was so…, The saying by God usually precede the working out of that which was said.
After the creation of the spirit of man, God took the second step to “form” man. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). At this stage man became a living soul without the consciousness of his body. The physical body (flesh) manifested after the soul became sinful (Gen. 3:6-7). It was sin that birthed the flesh.
To summarise the phases of creation, they are spirit – soul – body. For an analogy, whenever we are awake, our spirit, soul, and body are in operation; when we are asleep and, in a dream, our soul and spirit are in operation and we see ourselves do many things and yet without the consciousness of the physical body. The dreaming state was how man was before the flesh manifested when sin entered.
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and then breathed into his nostrils “the breath of life”. When the breath of life came in contact with the form of a man in the dust (Gen. 2:7), the soul was produced. “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).
Man is a tripartite being, with a spirit, a soul, and a body. The body was lifeless, but when it met the spirit of life, a third entity was produced, the soul. Without the spirit, the body is dead. Without the soul, the body still lives as long as the spirit is still inside of the body. This is why some people could go on astral travel to do sinful things and return back into the body. The book of Job 34:14-15 further depicts this division:
“If he set his heart upon man if he gathers unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust”.
God did not call a man a man, but He called him a soul because a man is judged by his soul. The soul represents the man and expresses the characteristics of his personality. The soul is the organ of man’s free will, and both the spirit and the body are incorporated into it. Lesson from this creation story: Whatsoever you desire, conceive it first in your heart (spirit); then say it with your mouth in prayer (soul), and work it out with your hands by faith (body). Outside of this approach is magic, sorcery, ritual, pride… (all sin).
Christ Arsenal Retreat Centre. www.christarsenal.org email to email@example.com